Listening To Music Offline With Google Drive

Do you need to transfer text/music/pictures from your desktop/laptop PC to your iPhone? Do you need these files available to look/listen to even when your iPhone can’t get a signal?

I frequently need to transfer audio files/music from my laptop and listen to them on my iPhone, even in areas that don’t have cell reception. Fortunately, Google Drive offers the ability to mark files as available offline – to download the files to the iPhone’s local memory so they’re available at all times.

To do this, first use your PC to upload files to Google Drive. Then on the iPhone, open up the Google Drive app, find the audio file, and click on the three period symbol (inside the purple box) below:

Google Drive iOS app. Click on the three dot symbol.

A context menu will pop up below:

Google Drive file context menu.

Use your finger to pull the menu up (towards the top of your phone). You’ll see the full menu. Where it says Available Offline, pull the switch to the right until you see blue.

Use the available offline switch to mark the file as available at all times.

You’re done! A prompt should show up, where Drive acknowledges the offline request:

The notice that pops up when the file will be available offline.

To make sure the file is fully downloaded, leave the Google Drive app open a moment before you close it out.

Google Drive: Creating a folder

Today I answered a question about how to create a folder in Google Drive . The answer is simple: Google Drive considers a folder to be simply another file, so to create a folder you use the same API call as creating a file, except that you pass in a MIME type of application/

It’s a pretty straightforward answer, but it started me thinking about the nature of folders and Google. It’s interesting that Google Drive supports folders at all, considering that another famous Google service – Gmail – doesn’t support folders at all. Instead, it has labels.

In Gmail, you can create as many labels as you want, and apply any number of them to an email. Labels are similar to folders: they enable users to categorize and easily search for files – the only thing missing is the hierarchical pattern that folders enable. Which leads me back to Google Drive: I wonder how folders are internally represented within the Google Drive system. Based on the API, it looks like folders are considered a special case of files.

But if Drive can handle folders as simply a special file, why doesn’t Gmail support folders as well? Is it simply that Gmail and Drive are separate codebases, or that Google feels that labels are a better categorizing scheme than folders?

It’s always interesting to think about Google’s architecture and how different services have vastly different builds and APIs.